Awkward Teenage Love

It was a peculiar thing, to be sure. By the summer I had kept my so-called affection hidden and cold. I thought myself under control and possibly on my way to getting over him. But my emotional compass was wrong -- very wrong. I just chose to ignore the snide voice in my head that mocked me. It asked me how well I knew myself. But I would not let my heart answer.

Tubing was our favorite pastime at the cabin. The day was lovely; choppy enough for waves to foam about with a whipping wind. I always kept my perch at the front of the boat. I enjoyed watching the expressions on the faces of the tubers. It was this fact that I justified my scrutiny of them when they went.

But eventually the two fell off and came back to the boat, tired and wet. And lone behold, who would climb up next to me but him? I didn’t know what to do or say so I just smiled in a friendly way. We both sat with our arms behind us, resting them on the railing. It took me a moment to realize I was holding my breath. I exhaled as the boat began to move, on its way with the next round.

My uncanny peripheral vision was of great help to me. I could see him without really looking. Like me, he was carefully keeping his eyes trained forward. We both would not look at each other. It was as if we feared something would happen if we did, but what could happen? Nonsense.

It was along the first sharp turn the boat took that I jerked to the side a bit. Our fingers touched, and I stiffened instantly. I carefully eased my body back to my place, praying that it had gone unnoticed. It had. But it happened again to both of us, depending on which way the boat had turned. But we caught on in the end, bracing ourselves so our bodies would not touch. And all the while our eyes were locked forward.

It was another one of those weird experiences where two people tried to ignore each other, but none really succeeded.





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